To say that much modern art is pretentious, ostentatious, and ridiculously priced would hardly be saying anything new. But one certain sale at this year’s famous Art Basel Miami festival has plunged things to new depths of absurdity. And with economic inequality at record levels, it’s worth putting things into a broader social context.
There’s one hard-hitting speech from left-wing Labour legend Tony Benn that we all need to rewatch right now. Because it captures the spirit that we so badly need, both today and every day from here on out.
As the UK goes to the polls on December 12, the two men leading the country’s major political parties could not be more different. One is a perfect gentleman; the other a perfect rogue. But something is seriously amiss. If this is the case, then how come the rogue is leading the polls and the gentleman is the undoubted underdog? The answer lies in the power structures of the mainstream media.
As The Canary has previously argued, Washington’s treatment of other countries is rarely based on concerns for human rights and/or democracy, but rather on the extent to which their governments serve US economic and geostrategic interests. And now, Donald Trump has all but admitted that this is the case.
Pro-US dictators welcome
During a speech at the New York Economic Club on 12 November, Trump said that he is open to meeting with any foreign leader if doing so is “good for the United States.” “Dictators, it’s OK. Come on in,” he added.
Wednesday September 11, 2019 marks the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center ‘Twin Towers’ in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. In the 18 years that have passed since that day in 2001, countless conspiracy theories have arisen that reject the mainstream account of what happened and who was responsible. Some of the conspiracies come from the lunatic right such as the notorious Alex Jones of InfoWars. But others appear to come from the left. As anti-imperialists, it can indeed be tempting to believe that the US government and foreign policy establishment conspired to create a justification for intervention in the Middle East. But the reality is that such theories are not only far-fetched but also harmful to the cause of opposing needless war.
A long history
The story of what has come to be known as the ‘9/11 Truth movement’ now has a history spanning almost two decades. Practically as soon as the dust had settled over Lower Manhattan, people began questioning what ‘9/11 Truthers’ call the ‘official account’. About a year after the attacks, street rallies proclaiming that “Bush Did It!” were held in California. Soon, a steady stream of books followed, such as Barrie Zwicker’s Towers of Deception, Michael Ruppert’s Crossing the Rubicon, and Mathias Bröckers’ Conspiracies, Conspiracy Theories and the Secrets of 9/11. The internet, meanwhile, has provided a Petri dish in which followers of 9/11 Truther theories can reinforce their mutual belief that the attacks were an ‘inside job’.
A new poll shows that support for former vice president Joe Biden is falling. The survey, produced by Monmouth University, shows Biden dropping from 32 percent amongst Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters in June – when Monmouth produced its last poll – to below 19 percent now. The stats, meanwhile, place Biden’s two progressive competitors, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, ahead at 20 percent each.
It seems almost certain, therefore, that if one of them were to drop out and endorse the other, it would propel the remaining candidate well above Biden and into clear front-runner status. Given what it is at stake, it is imperative that one of them do so. The prospect of four more years of the reality TV conman buffoon in the White House risks not only a completely breakdown in functioning government, it would also embolden him to turn his second administration into an authoritarian one. He has already said that he might “stay longer” if his base “demand” that he do so. In July, an administration aide saidduring an interview with Fox News that Trump told White House staff that he is “not going to be beholden to courts anymore.” These are clear signs of an authoritarian fascist in the making.
The fact that Trump is an egomaniac hardly constitutes news. Before becoming president his professional life was characterized by a succession of attention-seeking vanity projects. Through his career as a property developer, he oversaw the construction of a series of gaudy buildings, which stand as monuments to kitsch in locations as diverse as Panama, Uruguay, the Philippines, Turkey, and India. Via his appearance on the reality TV show The Apprentice, meanwhile, he established himself as a vulgar showman and self-important bully.
During the campaign trail, his self-absorption had the chance to further flourish as he basked in the adulation of cheering fans. With friendly audiences lapping up practically anything he said, he took to making ever more outlandish statements, such as his claim that he could shoot someone and still win the election. On the primary debate stage, he showed off the skill in belittling and humiliatingothers that he had honed on The Apprentice, as he reveled in issuing cruel and juvenile insults at his opponents. When Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party candidate for the general election, the insults morphed into promises to, if elected, use his position of power to imprison her (and, presumably, other political opponents).